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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, November 07, 2016

No Matter Who Wins, We Will Survive

Jefferson the fop
This is the most vicious Presidential election I've ever witnessed. Numerous stories by pundits and other self-proclaimed government experts proclaim that, if authoritarian Donald Trump wins, our democratic republic will morph into a banana republic administered by a President for Life. Other experts insist that if Comrade Clinton is elected, you might has well hang a "Government for Sale" sign on the White House.  I'm here to tell you two things. First, whomever is elected, life as we know it will continue. Second, America may be great, but its government sucks. There's little evidence that will change, no matter whichever one of these two elitists is elected.

We've actually had worse elections than this one. Like when a number of states secede because they don't like the results. Probably the worst was the election of 1800. This was a battle between two people now revered as founding fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. In reality, both were vain and despicable men. It's really hard to decide which of two was worse.

Adams, who was President at the time, was jailing his critics in the press, thanks to the Alien and Sedition Act. The Naturalization Act of 1798 required an immigrant to reside in this country for 14 years before getting citizenship, and even then, you had to be a property owner before you could vote. Jefferson called Adams "vain, irritable and a bad calculator of the force and probable effect of the motives which govern men."

Jefferson as man of the people ...
white people with property
Jefferson was the original phony. An aristocratic fop in France known for his profligate spending, he reinvented himself as a man of the people while banging one of his slaves routinely. A coward, he usually did his dirty work through others. As Governor of Virginia, he fled the capital 15 minutes before the British arrived. His biggest hypocrisy concerned slavery. He fought federal control to assure the rights of slave states. And while slaves were just pieces of meat to be sold or assaulted, they still counted as 3/5 of one person for purposes of Congressional representation. Jefferson, who never really cared before about his authorship of the Declaration of Independence, began the annual July 4 celebration, starring him.

Both Adams and Jefferson were intensely jealous of and launched covert attacks at George Washington, the one man who really did stand apart from the others. Adams sniped that Washington fancied himself the "moral pope." Jefferson refused to attend Washington's memorial service.

Jefferson vowed to repeal the Judiciary Act under which the courts functioned.  That was his way of taking care of activists judges.

The 1800 election destroyed the Federalist party, leading to one-party rule over the next 24 years. During that time, every state added to the union was a slave state.

Our government was a mess then and remains a mess today. Neither John Adams nor Thomas Jefferson can claim any moral superiority over either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. They were scoundrels now revered as founding fathers. I suspect that, 200 years from now, if we still exist, Trump and Clinton will look much better than they do now.


Anonymous said...

Hope you are right. Mr. Trump has said this is our last chance to save America. What if you are wrong?

Anonymous said...

Make America Hate Again.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking back today after talking to an old friend about the election. He will vote for Trump because he said Hillary Clinton will be the worst President ever. It reminded me of all the years and the refrain I have heard throughout those years. I told him that my age allows me to remember that my Republican friends told me Carter was the worst president ever, before Bill Clinton was the worst president ever, before Obama was the worst President ever, and so it goes.

At least they are consistent in their outrage. Long live the republic. Whomever wins, I accept the results and stand up for my country. I hope we remember we are all Americans on Wednesday.

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

I differ with some of your historical assessments, but I'm in agreement with your initial premise. As I wrote a friend last night, "maybe I'm getting a bit jaded, but I do believe the world will go on regardless of who wins. That's not to say that elections don't have consequences, and you get the govt you deserve, but I have grown numb to all the hyperbole from both sides. In the short run, probably my biggest concern is that there are wackadoodles on both extremes, wacky enough to think they'll be saving the nation by somehow taking action into their own hands."

Anonymous said...

you wrote "Our government was a mess then and remains a mess today"

This entirely attributable to the electorate, who reelect incumbents election after election

The system requires an informed and active electorate to work.

Anonymous said...

If trump wins, he will get at least 3 Supreme Court appointments and yes this the country will not survive. The appointment he wants to make are all going to return us to a time a back alley abortions, civil rights discord, and if your gay you get to go back to hiding it in the closet for fear of being beaten by mobs of t-baggers

Anonymous said...

"Mobs of t-baggers"? Wow, sounds scary. But, hey, anything you say anonymously, 6:45. Anything at all!

Anonymous said...

It's common to hear the refrain that Trump will lead to a dictatorship. I've even heard analogies to Hitler and Mussolini.

Hitler and Mussolini had one great advantage...they controlled the media.

Ask yourself honestly; Which of the current candidates is more likely to have the media on his/her side?

Anonymous said...

T-baggers is low intellect banter. T-hadists is much more clever. Just like Trumpkins. Being both I chuckle at the creativity.

Anonymous said...

Here's another chuckle: How about "Y-grabbers"?

Anonymous said...

We will survive, but at what cost ?
Already spending to much for gov't services / welfare / special interest ... And oh yes, and a poor education system that is getting worse. Time to get back to basics before we lose it all. Again I ask , at what cost ?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The system requires an informed and active electorate to work."

Agreed. But the electorate was never better informed than before the election of 1800. There were two terrible choices.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It's common to hear the refrain that Trump will lead to a dictatorship. I've even heard analogies to Hitler and Mussolini."

Trump is an authoritarian very much like Hitler, but he's no Hitler. He's more like Putin, whom he admires.

" Which of the current candidates is more likely to have the media on his/her side?"

You are unfortunately correct. I am disgusted at those disclosures.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I differ with some of your historical assessments, but I'm in agreement with your initial premise."

I'd suggest you read some of the recent histories about Jefferson. He is not at all who he pretended. Chernow's Hamilton and Washington are excellent, but knowing you, you may have already read both.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I would argue with you regarding Adams being "despicable". He was a conceited and petty man, but he was a puritan through and through. While he sniped at Washington, when Adams was elected to the presidency, he kept on all of Washington's cabinet members to his own detriment by trying to maintain Washington's infallible image.

Back in this time period, it was beneath the candidates to campaign for the office. They would allow proxies to put forth their name but any overt actions for the office would have been dishonorable. Jefferson paid James Callender, a Philadelphia printer, to attack Adams and printed that Adams was a "hermaphrodite".

I've read both of Chernow's books (I think Washington: A Life, is superior to Alexander Hamilton) and have read several biographies of other Founding Fathers. Washington was very stern, of little humor, and had a penchant for flirting with his subordinates' wives. Adams was too quick-tempered and puritanical. Jefferson was as you described, and while brilliant, calculating, cowardly and back-stabbing (Martha Washington refused to have him visit Mount Vernon), and Madison was a Jefferson sycophant. I always think to myself "Out of all of the Founding Fathers, who would I most like to have a beer with" and right now I am stuck on Dolley Madison with Benjamin Franklin a distant second.

I am reading "Affairs of Honor" by Yale Professor Joanne Freeman, about how feuds and duels occurred in Early American history, and while it's a dry read, it really gives you a sense that the Founders believed themselves to be "rock stars" of their time and the only way to ingratiate yourself was to be their sycophants and calumniators.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:57, thanks very much for your take and reading suggestions.

Jamie Kelton said...

Come Wednesday, we will be seeing much acrimony. And this will not dissipate anytime soon. It's not just the election rhetoric, we have that after every election and generally that does pass away with the exception of some zealots that hold a grudge. Americans generally come around to support the new president after the campaign ends.

That didn't happen in 2001 after the month of national trauma when Gore tried his hardest to reverse the Florida results. G W Bush was not seen as a legitimate President for months afterwards, it took the 9/11 shock to put that behind us.. but only really for about a year until the acrimony began anew after the Invasion of Iraq in 2003. Although, the real acrimony began after the 1992 election, when Bill Clinton defeated Bush 41, and Hillary Clinton began to spew her "great right wing conspiracy" garbage that all this national acrimony began.

If Hillary wins on Tuesday, she will be no better as President than Richard Nixon was in 1973. That was the year the Watergate Scandal broke, but unlike Nixon in January 1973, there was no cloud of scandal hanging over him at the time he was inaugurated. Hillary has the cloud of scandal hanging over her now, and the recriminations will just get worse if she wins the election, during her time as President-Elect. The cloud of scandal wil also hang over each and every cabinet appointee that she selects and submits to the Senate for confirmation; how do we know that those nominees are not being rewarded for pay-for-play, which is simply another word for bribery? How will we know each presidential decision she makes is also not a reward for payoffs she took though the Clinton Foundation? She will be subject to endless congressional investigations. I sincerely doubt there will be any support by Hillary to engage a special prosecutor to investigate her; and the Justice Department will be so politicized that we will see endless investigation after investigation after investigation.

If Trump wins, we will see the Democrats acting the same way as the Republicans would if Hillary had won. If the Democrats take the senate, will they want to approve any of his cabinet nominees? What about the legislation he proposes, do you expect the Democrats to support him? What we will have is gridlock.

Yes, Mr. O'Hare, we will survive, somehow. But it will take a long time to get past this apocalyptic election; I suspect it will take a national tragedy like 9/11 to accomplish that unfortunately.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jamie, Let's hope no national tragedy is needed.

Anonymous said...

Our political system is a dumpster fire, but its our dumpster fire and I'd choose it over any other dumpster fire currently raging anywhere else on Earth.

I do expect to see some people go into histrionics on Wednesday AM, as I think the race will be too close to call before midnight, but rest assured, life will go on and the gears of progress in DC will continue their ever so slow grind forward.

Looking forward to 2020 when we can all kick whichever sack of crap is elected out of office. #oneterm

Scott of Nazareth

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:17(aka Jamie Kelton) Cleaver way you made your analogies fit your political inclinations. One could argue that even level headed Republicans would concede the abundance of right wing whack jobs in the House of Representatives will continue to pull the nation down into hate and discord.

Anonymous said...

“Well, Doctor (Franklin), what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Sadly, Ben was right. "Keeping it" requires the discipline to not simply vote yourself more and more free shit. From shiftless individuals to greedy corporations, we're voting ourselves into economic history. Government will be paralyzed by either candidates' election. That's a very good thing, and a testament to the brilliance of our Constitution (i.e. that the system stalls to protect itself from the Clintons and Trumps of the country). But it's ultimately too late. Romney's 47% is likely over 50% by now. The rush for free shit is on. There will be a reckoning. But most of us will be long gone. Sucks to be the grandkids.

Anonymous said...

When Clinton wins tomorrow she ha to remember her own primary and why so many people voted for Trump. Many Democrats supported Bernie Sanders. In fact without her ground game and super delegates her primary was a dead heat. She must also realize that many, many people are supporting Donald Trump because they are pissed at all the jobs sucked out of America and the high unemployment, the shitty jobs and the high costs of living, the high cost of medicine and the high cost of taxes, etc..

So in the coming year will she acknowledge the frustration of many many Americans? The Democrats must not just write off the frustration and anger over American problems of poor working class folks and retirees. Bernie's campaign was a sign of the new Democratic Party committed to the ideals of FDR and Teddy Roosevelt. She must reach out and acknowledge the feelings of the Trump supporters or she will get nowhere.

Meanwhile, will the Republican Party leaders be honest with their folks and acknowledge the post WWII America that ruled the world economically no longer exists and never will. Will they start to be honest about the need for fair polices. The truth that Reaganomics while great at first for taxes, ended up starting the ball roiling towards the greatest inequality of wealth in American history.

Will be interesting If after the election we actually speak to each other or continue to yell.

Mr. Hope for Tomorrow

Anonymous said...

Yeah. There was never this kind of income inequality during the Depression and Roosevelt administration. Come on.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Mr.Hope HilLary will be defeaTED tomorrow. Mute point I predict.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

If you wish to attack Peter, sign your name.

Anonymous said...

"never this kind of income inequality during the Depression and Roosevelt administration"

Regardless, something to aspire to? Love living in scat so lets keep living in scat? The proportion of wealth disparity today is greater than even during the time of the Vanderbilt's and Carnegies.

Anonymous said...

More welfare is something to aspire to? Whatever happened to all of those "shovel ready jobs"? And just which political party has been 'driving the car' the last eight years anyway? So how can we have such a great wealth disparity now??? --- Just Say No To Hillary + Bill Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Income disparity has more to do with immigration than anything else. Democrats need a permanent underclass to keep getting elected. Republicans need a permanent underclass to depress wages and maximize profits. Immigration is the ONLY subject upon which both parties agree, albeit for very different reasons.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bernie, I was only half joking. I actually have a lot of respect for. Mr. Cochran's views...Tom Davis

Anonymous said...

Yes, No question the myth will continue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbp6umQT58A <--truth